• Twins Punting 2013? Not So Fast

    Ben Revere swingsTrading established players for prospects is the sign of a rebuilding team, and that is certainly what we've seen from Terry Ryan with his first few major moves this offseason. Many casual fans have expressed outrage over trades that sent Denard Span and Ben Revere – cornerstones in the Minnesota outfield – to the NL East for young pitching geared more toward the big picture than immediate improvement.

    The two prizes acquired in these deals, Alex Meyer and Trevor May, both have what it takes to become true assets in the rotation. In all likelihood it won't happen in 2013, which is understandably frustrating for fans who are tired of all the losing and are yearning for short-term gains. However, the presence of Vance Worley cannot be ignored. He's an established major-league pitcher, and while he's probably more serviceable than great, he fills one of the club's several rotation vacancies at essentially no cost.

    Assuming that ownership is serious about keeping payroll steady, that leaves Ryan with around $20-25 million to spend on starters who can make a more immediate impact. Adding a pair of $10 million pitchers on top of Diamond and Worley, even in this inflated market, would greatly change the complexion of the starting corps. The rotation is not going to suddenly become an asset -- that was never really a possibility -- but could be good enough to compete, and there's always the chance that Meyer or May will perform well enough in the minors to become a late-season option.

    To get themselves into this vastly preferable position with the pitching staff while retaining plenty of financial flexibility, the Twins had to part with a pair of valuable and likable players. But Darin Mastroianni ought to be an adequate placeholder and a guy like Aaron Hicks or Oswaldo Arcia could very well step in and make fans quickly forget about the previous tenants.

    Having lost nearly 200 games over the last two seasons, this team was in need of a major shake-up, and we're seeing it. There's no doubt that it hurts to lose players we've grown to love and appreciate, but at the end of the day the GM has dealt away from a position of depth to address a position of crippling weakness.

    I have held fast to my stance that the best approach for the Twins at this time is to make a modest but meaningful effort at returning to contention next year, with an eye toward the organization's long-term health. After two savvy trades, Ryan is in position to do just that.
    This article was originally published in blog: Twins Punting 2013? Not So Fast started by Nick Nelson
    Comments 121 Comments
    1. one_eyed_jack's Avatar
      one_eyed_jack -
      Quote Originally Posted by h2oface View Post
      Detroit was the American League representative in the World Series. Twins' fans like to cast aspersions on Detroit and Chicago, but to deny Detroit's talent is perhaps being a bit short sited.
      ---Really? Detroit had the 7th-best record in the American league last year (playing a much softer schedule than the 6 teams from the other 2 divisions who finished with better records) and needed a late-season collapse from a very mediocre White Sox team to even get to the post season

      Yes, they have some very talented guys, but they are a stars-and-scrubs team, very top heavy without a lot of depth. Once you get past Verlander, Scherzer, Fielder and Cabrera, what do you really have there? A team with holes in its lineup that is bad defensively and has a suspect bullpen.

      Certainly, the Tigers would have to be considered the favorite to win the division going into 2013, but they're not some unstoppable powerhouse, the fact that they got hot for a couple of weeks in October notwithstanding.
    1. nicksaviking's Avatar
      nicksaviking -
      They may not have punted yet, but they may as well if they don't fill the top of the lineup. I was interested in Jeff Keppinger before these moves, he'd look pretty good playing 2B/3B and in the two hole right now. He seemed like a good fit, don't know why the Twins showed no interest.
    1. mlbfan's Avatar
      mlbfan -
      Until they actually sign a good pitcher they are punting. With the loss of Pavano and Caps they had enough money to buy a pitcher on the free agent market. As of now they have refused to spend any money and have indicated that they will not do so. Right now they are much weaker on defense, they are much weaker on offense and they don't have any depth. Hardly moving forward in 2013.

      Terry Ryan could just spend some money to get the one pitcher (4th starter) he has so far. He did not have to trade two position players to do so. This is clearly giving up in 2013. Furthermore, he is giving up in 2014 as well. All of our prospects are in AA. They will maybe make the team in 2014. They won't be any good until 2016 or 2017.

      Because of poor of a drafting strategy he could bite the bullet and make the organization pay for it by spending some money, instead he will make the fans pay for it by runnning out a minor league lineup with no chance for winning until some far off future event.

      No matter how much whipped cream you put on it this season is still crap.
    1. Seth Stohs's Avatar
      Seth Stohs -
      Hendriks had bone chips removed. Lots of pitchers do that. Nathan did it. Santana had it done the offseason before he won his first Cy Young. Worley had his surgery in August, so he should be completely fine.
    1. nokomismod's Avatar
      nokomismod -
      In my opinion, mlbfan, i am more excited for this season, after the past two trades. Nothing against Span or Revere, they are both decent offensive players, and above average defensive players. I just think it's time to see Arcia, Hicks, and possibly Benson.
      I have to think we will see at least two starters signed and maybe one or two infielders. I don't necessarily think we will contend, but at least we are moving forward.
    1. jokin's Avatar
      jokin -
      Quote Originally Posted by one_eyed_jack View Post
      Quote Originally Posted by h2oface View Post
      Detroit was the American League representative in the World Series. Twins' fans like to cast aspersions on Detroit and Chicago, but to deny Detroit's talent is perhaps being a bit short sited.
      ---Really? Detroit had the 7th-best record in the American league last year (playing a much softer schedule than the 6 teams from the other 2 divisions who finished with better records) and needed a late-season collapse from a very mediocre White Sox team to even get to the post season

      Yes, they have some very talented guys, but they are a stars-and-scrubs team, very top heavy without a lot of depth. Once you get past Verlander, Scherzer, Fielder and Cabrera, what do you really have there? A team with holes in its lineup that is bad defensively and has a suspect bullpen.

      Certainly, the Tigers would have to be considered the favorite to win the division going into 2013, but they're not some unstoppable powerhouse, the fact that they got hot for a couple of weeks in October notwithstanding.
      The signing of Torii and V-Mart's return makes them not unstoppable, but certainly prohibitive favorites to not only win the Central but enter as the clear favorite to win it all in 2013:


      Odds to win the 2013 MLB World Series from BETONLINE:


      Detroit Tigers 6/1

      New York Yankees 7/1
      San Francisco Giants 10/1
      Texas Rangers 12/1
      Washington Nationals 12/1
      Los Angeles Angels 12/1
      Philadelphia Phillies 14/1
      St. Louis Cardinals 14/1
    1. jokin's Avatar
      jokin -
      Quote Originally Posted by greengoblinrulz View Post
      Love the 2 trades but any shot for success for this season will be dimished by having the worst double play combo in the majors.
      Also wasnt liking Ryan saying Blackburn & Duensing could be in the running for starting spots this yr.....groan
      If that comment wasn't enough to convince Nick Nelson and the gang that Ryan is punting, the re-signing of Liriano should put it over the top.
    1. mlbfan's Avatar
      mlbfan -
      Quote Originally Posted by nokomismod View Post
      In my opinion, mlbfan, i am more excited for this season, after the past two trades. Nothing against Span or Revere, they are both decent offensive players, and above average defensive players. I just think it's time to see Arcia, Hicks, and possibly Benson.
      I have to think we will see at least two starters signed and maybe one or two infielders. I don't necessarily think we will contend, but at least we are moving forward.
      I was looking forward to seeing Arcia, HIcks and Benson also, in AAA. They don't belong in the majors yet. Further, they won't be as good as Span or Revere for at least two years.
    1. Mauerpower's Avatar
      Mauerpower -
      arcia and hicks are will be better defensively than revere, and possibly as well as span. They are definitely better offensively. Yes, they haven't been in the majors yet but i'd take my chances there. The twins are better off with the return. They have drastically needed starting pitching for a few years now. Solid defense and pitching will win games. You have to give yourself at chance to win. We didn't have that the last couple years. I'm looking forward to this season, and I will actually be excited if they spend some money on an ace.
    1. jokin's Avatar
      jokin -
      Quote Originally Posted by Seth Stohs View Post
      Great article, Nick, and definitely puts things into perspective. Until Greinke and Sanchez sign, we may not see that next tier sign, and I think this flexibility allows them to be in on the likes of Jackson, McCarthy, Marcum and others in the $8-12 million range.
      I think that boat has set sail. Greinke is trying for $25M and anything close to that lifts all the other boats in the water. Haren just signed for $13M and all the guys you mentioned will ask and likely receive at least that much and possibly much more.
    1. mlbfan's Avatar
      mlbfan -
      Quote Originally Posted by Mauerpower View Post
      arcia and hicks are will be better defensively than revere, and possibly as well as span. They are definitely better offensively. Yes, they haven't been in the majors yet but i'd take my chances there. The twins are better off with the return. They have drastically needed starting pitching for a few years now. Solid defense and pitching will win games. You have to give yourself at chance to win. We didn't have that the last couple years. I'm looking forward to this season, and I will actually be excited if they spend some money on an ace.
      I will be excited if they spend money on an ace as well. Unfortunately, Terry Ryan has already said that he will not try for the top free agents (he says you have to be realistic) ie cheap.
    1. jmlease1's Avatar
      jmlease1 -
      Well-stated, Nick. That said, I think 1 more veteran pitcher (Marcum or Dempster are my preferences) might be enough to solidify the rotation with Diamond, Gibson, & Worley with 1 more coming from the Hendriks/De Vries/Walters/Deduno/Blackburn/et al group. Are any of those last group of Twins pitchers going to make your socks roll up & down? No, but we'd be looking for a 4th starter, not a 1, 2, or 3. I assume Gibson's innings will be limited, so think of him as the 5th starter. I think we can find a 4th starter out of that crew.

      That leaves up with some payroll flexibility to shore up the infield, giving us more options at 2B/SS, insurance/competition for Plouffe at 3B, etc.

      Now, if Plouffe can be an 800 OPS player with adequate defense, and Parmelee hits better than Span the offense should still be pretty good. You can't call them the favorites for 2013, but surrender? By adding a solid starter while dropping salary, the Twins have put themselves in position to keep building a good roster and preparing for the next wave from the minors (which is now looking like a pretty strong system again).
    1. one_eyed_jack's Avatar
      one_eyed_jack -
      Quote Originally Posted by jokin View Post
      Quote Originally Posted by one_eyed_jack View Post
      Quote Originally Posted by h2oface View Post
      Detroit was the American League representative in the World Series. Twins' fans like to cast aspersions on Detroit and Chicago, but to deny Detroit's talent is perhaps being a bit short sited.
      ---Really? Detroit had the 7th-best record in the American league last year (playing a much softer schedule than the 6 teams from the other 2 divisions who finished with better records) and needed a late-season collapse from a very mediocre White Sox team to even get to the post season

      Yes, they have some very talented guys, but they are a stars-and-scrubs team, very top heavy without a lot of depth. Once you get past Verlander, Scherzer, Fielder and Cabrera, what do you really have there? A team with holes in its lineup that is bad defensively and has a suspect bullpen.

      Certainly, the Tigers would have to be considered the favorite to win the division going into 2013, but they're not some unstoppable powerhouse, the fact that they got hot for a couple of weeks in October notwithstanding.
      The signing of Torii and V-Mart's return makes them not unstoppable, but certainly prohibitive favorites to not only win the Central but enter as the clear favorite to win it all in 2013:


      Odds to win the 2013 MLB World Series from BETONLINE:


      Detroit Tigers 6/1

      New York Yankees 7/1
      San Francisco Giants 10/1
      Texas Rangers 12/1
      Washington Nationals 12/1
      Los Angeles Angels 12/1
      Philadelphia Phillies 14/1
      St. Louis Cardinals 14/1
      ---Those kinds of odds do not make the Tigers a "clear favorite to win it all." That kind of oddsmaking started immediately after the World Series ended, before any offseason activity took place.
      http://www.cbssports.com/mlb/blog/ey...3-world-series

      I'm sure they'll change quite a bit between now and opening day.
    1. revdrev's Avatar
      revdrev -
      Quote Originally Posted by frightwig View Post
      One important thing to keep in mind: Worley is recovering from surgery to remove a "loose body" and a bone spur from his elbow. Pitchers who have had similar offseason surgeries typically need 2-3 months of the next season to get back into shape, which means Worley probably isn't going to be in form until next June or July. And that means Worley isn't really going to help the Twins contend until 2014-16. I'd guess that's been factored into Terry Ryan's plan, anyway.

      I like this move for the long term. Even if Trevor May doesn't solve his control problems, I'd still rather have Vance Worley (assuming he gets healthy) over the next 4 years than Ben Revere. But it definitely does look like another sign of punting on 2013, unless Ryan is quietly planning to spend money on the lineup as well as starting pitching this winter. The lineup, as it stands, looks like it's probably going to be below-average, and possibly even really poor.
      The guy who knows TJ better than anybody said Worley doesn't need it after he examined him.

      http://articles.philly.com/2012-05-2...teral-ligament
    1. Riverbrian's Avatar
      Riverbrian -
      I don't think it's totally accurate to say the are punting... I'd say it was 1st down and 40 and they just completed a 15 yard pass.

      It's 2nd down and 25 to go.
    1. Fatt Crapps's Avatar
      Fatt Crapps -
      Quote Originally Posted by Seth Stohs View Post
      Hendriks had bone chips removed. Lots of pitchers do that. Nathan did it. Santana had it done the offseason before he won his first Cy Young. Worley had his surgery in August, so he should be completely fine.
      How did that turn out again?

      http://sports.espn.go.com/mlb/spring...ory?id=4973472
    1. Mauerpower's Avatar
      Mauerpower -
      Nathan had tommy john. completely different. the spurs were removed after he was recovering from the surgery. Don't worry over worley.
    1. jokin's Avatar
      jokin -
      Quote Originally Posted by one_eyed_jack View Post
      Quote Originally Posted by jokin View Post
      Quote Originally Posted by one_eyed_jack View Post
      Quote Originally Posted by h2oface View Post
      Detroit was the American League representative in the World Series. Twins' fans like to cast aspersions on Detroit and Chicago, but to deny Detroit's talent is perhaps being a bit short sited.
      ---Really? Detroit had the 7th-best record in the American league last year (playing a much softer schedule than the 6 teams from the other 2 divisions who finished with better records) and needed a late-season collapse from a very mediocre White Sox team to even get to the post season

      Yes, they have some very talented guys, but they are a stars-and-scrubs team, very top heavy without a lot of depth. Once you get past Verlander, Scherzer, Fielder and Cabrera, what do you really have there? A team with holes in its lineup that is bad defensively and has a suspect bullpen.

      Certainly, the Tigers would have to be considered the favorite to win the division going into 2013, but they're not some unstoppable powerhouse, the fact that they got hot for a couple of weeks in October notwithstanding.
      The signing of Torii and V-Mart's return makes them not unstoppable, but certainly prohibitive favorites to not only win the Central but enter as the clear favorite to win it all in 2013:


      Odds to win the 2013 MLB World Series from BETONLINE:


      Detroit Tigers 6/1

      New York Yankees 7/1
      San Francisco Giants 10/1
      Texas Rangers 12/1
      Washington Nationals 12/1
      Los Angeles Angels 12/1
      Philadelphia Phillies 14/1
      St. Louis Cardinals 14/1
      ---Those kinds of odds do not make the Tigers a "clear favorite to win it all." That kind of oddsmaking started immediately after the World Series ended, before any offseason activity took place.
      http://www.cbssports.com/mlb/blog/ey...3-world-series

      I'm sure they'll change quite a bit between now and opening day.
      You're right that they'll change and for the record, I hate the Tigers style of play, but given the Yankees currently in freefall and steadfast on holding on a current payroll at ~$180M- and the Rangers still not sure about their lineup for 2013, you've essentially now extended the odds of both of the other 2 AL teams on this list. The Giants are pretty much standing pat. As you point out, the oddsmaking began BEFORE the signing of Hunter, given all of these facts, as painful as it is for me to declare, the Tigers are currently the clear favorites to at least MAKE the World Series, if not take it all.
    1. Fatt Crapps's Avatar
      Fatt Crapps -
      Quote Originally Posted by Mauerpower View Post
      the spurs were removed after he was recovering from the surgery.
      Nope.
    1. jokin's Avatar
      jokin -
      Quote Originally Posted by Riverbrian View Post
      I don't think it's totally accurate to say the are punting... I'd say it was 1st down and 40 and they just completed a 15 yard pass.

      It's 2nd down and 25 to go.
      is that with Ponder at QB and Harvin on IR? If so, they're punting- on 3rd Down.
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